You might have heard about the copyright problems prevalent in the world of 3D modeling. Many companies risk sending out their exclusive 3D files of parts for quoting and manufacturing. This same risk also applies when uploading and sharing or selling files on different platforms as well. We suggest using Watermark 3D. It is a free software application used to embed unique information into a 3D model which can be protected by a password. The watermark is practically invisible, leaving no visual or structural changes that are revealed on the materialized object. At this stage, only STL files are supported but we are working on including other formats as well.
Step 1: Watermarking a 3D Model
To start using the free watermarking service for STL files, visit www.watermark3D.com Click the “Upload STL” tab and choose the file you want to watermark. Please keep in mind that only binary and ASCII STL files are available for now, and color extensions are not supported.
Step 2: Enter Information
Type your name or contact information. It will be hidden inside the watermark. Please try to keep it as brief as possible. ASCII characters and symbols recommended. Create and enter your password in the relevant field. You may leave the password field empty if you want the contents of your watermark to be made public to all users. Don’t worry, even without a password, your watermark cannot be changed or overwritten once it’s applied.
Step 3: Advanced Mode
Enter your email address and click “Apply watermark”. The download link for your first watermarked file will be sent to this email. All subsequent downloads will occur directly on the site.
Please note: Before applying the watermark, you have the option of selecting advanced mode. Advanced mode will make the watermark more robust but will cause slight changes (practically invisible) to the 3D model.
Step 4: Checking Watermark
Upload the watermarked STL. To view the contents of a private watermark, the correct password is required. If the watermark was made public to all users, you can retrieve the information without entering password.
Step 5: Tracking Misused Model
Here is an example of how Watermark 3D can be used to track misused models:
For instance, a designer distributes a file using a number of different channels. In this case, they can place a unique watermark each time they send the file to a customer, a manufacturer or marketplace. Then, if the model is found to be distributed illegally, they should be able to trace the source back to the culprit and use this as grounds to file a claim.